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Man fined for misuse of hazardous substance

Man fined for misuse of hazardous substance

A Christchurch man has been convicted and ordered to pay just over $2500 after pleading guilty to nine charges laid by the Christchurch City Council under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) act. The charges related to the illegal manufacture and storage of fireworks.

The offending came to light in May 2008 when the man's younger brother was injured in an explosion at the family backyard. The explosion occurred while the brother was playing with gunpowder from the fireworks He received serious burns to a large area of his body including his arms, legs and face, but has now recovered from his injuries.

The man, Tim Sargeant, pleaded guilty to the nine HSNO charges on 17 December at the Christchurch District Court. He was ordered to pay reparation of $500 to his brother, a fine of $750, court costs of $270, and the cost of the Council's prosecution of $904.

At the sentencing Judge MacAskill said the offending arose out of amateur blundering, with Sargent failing to return the gunpowder to a locked gun cabinet where it was usually kept.

The Council's Inspections and Enforcement Manager Gary Lennan, says the case highlights the potential danger of mishandling hazardous substances, and Sargeant was lucky that his brother has been left with only minor scarring.

Sargeant has also faced prosecutions by the Police under the Arms Act.


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